Trails End Bay produces another rarity!

4/26: Another slow morning, with minimal breezes and periodic fog. A handful of ducks moved through, but the vast majority were loafing and calling on the still water—primarily long-tails and red-breasted mergs. Loons continued to move (they seem to be flying West every single day, regardless of wind and weather conditions), though in much smaller numbers. Couple Caspian tern flybys, and some tree swallows.

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55439685

Evening count took place in wild conditions, with a howling North wind, six-foot-plus surf, and blowing sand. Consequently, very low numbers of everything, with half the number of buffleheads seen recently, three common mergs, and one calling pied-billed. The eared grebe was not observed but may have been loafing somewhere more sheltered. Only movers were four Caspian terns, headed West, and a surprise pair of greater scaup that flew off to the East end of the bay. 

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55446400

4/27: Wicked Wind of the West made for a positively oceanic morning, with high surf and strong winds off the water. Long-tails, red-breasted mergs, and loons were all taking advantage of the updrafts to make strong Westward movements in the first hour, yet these all but died down by 7:30 or so. A likely contributing factor was the increase in heat shimmer as the sun rose, which made spotting low-flying fowl all but impossible among the churning breakers several miles out. A few flocks were spotted as they rose briefly above the shimmer line, but I was probably missing many birds flying closer to the UP shore. Big flight of ring-bills and herring gulls, including several immatures, which I ended up relocating at Trail’s End Bay just after the morning count, where the high surf had washed up a noxious mass of pond-weeds that around 100 gulls were sifting through. 

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55490764

Wind once again slowed the evening count, with few birds on the marsh. Bufflehead numbers were back up, so I expected the eared grebe to show, but it was nowhere to be seen. Briefly caught a small grebe off to the West in the scope around sunset, but it appeared a better match for horned grebe. 

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55490612

Painted lady, Wilderness SP

4/28: Winds continued, with little movement in general. A pintail group, two small scoter groups, and a single greater scaup were the only duck migrants, with continuing steady movement among common loons, and a number of loons and grebes loafing with the red-breasted mergs in near-shore waters. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the arrival of a lone beaver, seen moving along the shore to the East in the predawn hours. 

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55521445

Evening began with steady winds, but these finally abated around 8PM, and produced a real surprise: a TRICOLORED HERON. I had just finished scanning the bay to count the small red-breasted merg flocks when the heron burst from the marsh edge, and offered great looks (see eBird list for more detailed notes). I followed it in flight, as it first powered Northward, then veered West around towards Cecil Bay and Wilderness SP. Trails End Bay is really becoming a rarity magnet!

eBird list: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55537110